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More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
 #3131  by AdamD
 17 May 2019, 13:44
I have been extracting OSR honey. What comes out of the frames is too cloudy to go through a strainer so it is going into buckets 'as is' for heating and straining later. It's setting rock hard in the buckets in 1 - 2 days. Some of the frames have crystalized honey remaining in them. I have tried heating honey in the comb before and it usually results in the comb collapsing.

In the hives there's OSR honey in frames. Not capped at all but some of it crystalising and some very runny and well above 20% water content.

The above is probably common to many beekeepers about now, what would you do?
 #3135  by Jim Norfolk
 17 May 2019, 14:46
Adam welcome to the world of OSR. I used to try to get the OSR honey off warm using a rapid clearer board and extract straight away.

Not sure there is much can be done with >20% water crystallised OSR except heat to liquify and use a dehumidifier. I had an insulated bee keeping shed and left the lid of the heating cabinet open a crack to allow air exchange and a dehumidifier in the room. I got the % water down enough but it took several days so I was never sure if the HMF level was legal.

Any frames with fully crystallised honey had to be cut out and heated enough to liquify the honey. Another messy job.

Some people wash and dry the empty comb before putting the supers back to avoid contaminating the summer honey.

Good luck. I am hoping the mile between my bees and the nearest OSR and the wind blowing against returning foragers will have kept OSR nectar down to a minimum. The field is still in flower so a bit early yet.
 #3137  by Chrisbarlow
 17 May 2019, 16:09
I heard some one suggest when puting frames back in with honey crystals still in them to dip them in water first and shake off and then put them in and the bees cleaned them up nicely.

if I have frames crystalised solid with OSR then I tend to give them to nucs to use. they can soon remove the honey no issues.

I tend to warm all honey up before filtering so OSR is no different from that perspective.

Dont forget to enjoy the honey though, it might be OSR but it still is great honey :D
 #3139  by Caroline
 17 May 2019, 16:28
Adam, my bees are on OSR every year, but usually it gets mixed with other nectar at the same time so I don't get mostly OSR (unlike a local beekeeper a few miles away who gets nothing but OSR much to his disgust).

I echo Chris' comment re water, either dunking the frames in a bucket, or spraying lightly with water from a hand-held trigger spray.

I do something similar to what Jim suggested. If I have honey with a high water content, I put the bucket in the warming cabinet and add a windowsill dehumidifier to the cabinet (the kind that you put the white crystals in). I have successfully reduced the water content by 1.5% - 2.0% by the time the honey has liquefied. I do stir the bucket a couple of times during to help it along.
 #3148  by NigelP
 17 May 2019, 22:01
1. Get some insulation on top of hives...if not poly hives. Problem solved. It's the cold that causes it to set in the frames, a problem I rarely encounter with poly hives.

2. If uncapped and over 20% water content buy an ableo supers heater and dry it off...it will reduce water content by around 7% overnight...no dehumidifier needed.
 #3155  by Jim Norfolk
 18 May 2019, 09:09
1. and of course insulation means the bees use less energy and so consume less of the honey. I have left my winter insulation on and all seems good so far. Honey mostly capped and no sign of crystallisation yet.

2. Some of us prefer a DIY approach to throwing money at a problem but it sounds a good bit of kit. It should be fairly easy to make something similar at a fraction of the price.
 #3188  by AdamD
 20 May 2019, 16:46
I am going to keep some of the honey in the frames for now - it might go under brood boxes during the June Gap which I often have, so it will give the bees something to do! Otherwise, some can be used for winter stores.

I do have a small extracting room and a de-humidifier so I hope that some buckets will loose some water over the next few days; but a deep bucket and a relatively small surface area means that it takes a while. It would be good to loose 7% water overnight.

For spraying or wetting the crystalised honey, that won't necessarily work if there is still a flow on as it will be covered by new honey coming in.
 #3191  by Chrisbarlow
 20 May 2019, 18:33
Dont use osr honey for overwinter stores. I am under the impression that they have issues getting it out